What Does it Mean to Offer God a “Sacrifice of Praise”? How we can Worship in the Wilderness

Praise isn’t always costly – sometimes it’s easy to praise Him – when we get an unexpected insurance check in the mail, when we get good news about our children, and even sometimes when we are at church worshiping with other believers. Praise doesn’t seem like a sacrifice at all.

But there are times when it’s hard to praise God — times when it even feels impossible.

We hear back from the doctor that our child has an incurable disease. Our spouse wants a divorce. Bills sit on the kitchen counter with no funds to pay them. In these moments, God seems so far away. He seems disinterested. We can’t see His goodness, and out of our hurt, we can get angry at God.

When we bring a “sacrifice of praise,” we choose to believe that, even though life is not going as we think it should, God is still good. When we choose to praise God in spite of the wilderness, He treasures our gift as perfect worship.

Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.

Job 13:15a

To praise God in trying times takes an act of sacrifice. We are called to lay our all on the altar before a God we don’t always understand. God is perfectly sovereign, perfectly able, and perfectly loving.

See also: Life on the Altar – Offer Your Body As A Living Sacrifice

Sacrifice of Praise

Hebrews 13:15 instructs us to we praise God even in the midst of the wilderness – that we offer a sacrifice of praise and praise His name when we feel alone, depressed, distant, and heartbroken.

Through Him, therefore, let us at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.

Hebrews 13:15 AMP

The command in Hebrews 13:15 says that this sacrifice is to be offered “continually” or as the Amplified Bible translates: “At all times”.

Our praise of God is not to be based on our opinion of how He’s doing. Our worship cannot be treated as a “reward” we give God when we feel that He’s acting the way that we think He should. God is not a genie in a lamp, at our disposal and convenience. He is our Father, and He’s good, even when we aren’t sure.

God is sovereign

God is always right in every circumstance. He is 100% in control. He knows the number of hairs on our heads, and always takes care of us. He’s a limitless God, beyond our comprehension.

As Jen Wilkin puts it in her book, None Like Him – 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing):

Put succinctly, who has measured everything? God has. Who has measured God? No one. In striking paradox, God immeasurable concerns himself with measurements for arks and tabernacles, temples and cities. God unbound sets boundaries for oceans. He catalogs hairs on heads. He numbers stars and grains of sand. Our limitless God specifies the length of our limbs and the circumference of our crania. He measures our very days in handbreadths, lovingly and with intent. And all that he measures is perfect in measurement. All that he binds is perfectly boundaried. Yet he himself is infinitely detailed—limitless, measureless, unbounded.

Jen Wilkin – 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing)

God sees life from an eternal perspective – and His plans are perfect. He is patient with us and always wants us to draw near to Him through the pain. He doesn’t need a relationship with us, but desires it.

When we offer a sacrifice of praise, our mourning is turned into joy

If you feel stuck in hard places today and can’t see a way out of your current situation, God wants to use your ashes and turn them into a crown of beauty. When you trust God with your pain, beautiful things happen.

“and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”

Isaiah 61:3

God desires our whole heart, and all of our praise. He calls us to offer a sacrifice of praise. And how do we do it? Hebrews 13:15 says “through Him.”

We praise Him because He is good, even in the bad. Where do we get the power to do such a thing?

Through Him.

Sacrifice praise and watch your faith grow.

Mama, pray with me, if you feel lead:

Father, thank You for Your goodness, even in this time of waiting, confusion, pain, and loss. God, I know that You want to use this situation to bring me closer to You. Make my path clear and give me strength through the Holy Spirit to make the right decisions for Your glory.
I pray this in Jesus’ Name,

See also: A Prayer For When You’re Waiting On God

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